19th Annual Course on Religion, Spirituality and Health

General Information

Our next 5-day research course on spirituality and health will be held on August 14-18, 2023.  Register early to ensure a spot.  The course has been over-subscribed every year (see photos and participant bios from prior classes below).  The course focuses on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality and health, and how to develop an academic career in this area, and compresses training material that was previously taught during our Duke post-doctoral fellowship (which was discontinued in 2010). Leading religion-health researchers from Duke, Yale and Emory will give presentations.  If requested, there will also be time to discuss individual research projects with faculty — participants will each have 30 minutes one-on-one with Dr. Koenig or with another course faculty mentor of their choice (early registration will assure one of these mentorship spots). May include limited mentorship by Dr. Koenig to assist in implementation of research at participant’s home institution.  Faculty for the course are Dan G. Blazer (psychiatry, epidemiology), Benjamin Doolittle (pediatrics, physician and clergy well-being/burnout), Jill Hamilton (nursing, mental health, qualitative research), Warren Kinghorn (theology, psychiatry), Harold G. Koenig (psychiatry, medicine, nursing),  John P. Oliver (chaplain research, PTSD), and Redford Williams (behavioral medicine). Topics that will be covered include:

  • Resources for learning more about spirituality and health
  • Previous research on religion, spirituality and health
  • Strengths and weaknesses of previous research
  • Applying findings to clinical practice
  • Understanding mechanisms
  • Theological considerations and concerns (Warren Kinghorn)
  • Family and personal issues relevant to religion-health researchers
  • Highest priority studies for future research
  • Strengths and weaknesses of religion/spirituality measures
  • Designing different types of research projects
  • Qualitative research (Jill Hamilton)
  • Biological and genetic mechanisms (Redford Williams)
  • Carrying out and managing a research project
  • Statistics and modeling
  • Writing a grant to NIH or private foundations
  • Where to obtain funding for research in this area
  • Writing a research paper for publication; getting it published
  • Presenting research to professional and public audiences
  • Working with the media
  • Developing research and academic careers in this area (Dan Blazer and Harold Koenig)

The course is open to all interested in learning about or conducting scientific research or academic work in this area, regardless of level of training. This workshop is specifically designed for established researchers, new investigators, and graduate students, including those in medicine, nursing, psychology, sociology, chaplaincy, theology, pastoral counseling, public health, or other related disciplines. Non-researchers including interested laypersons, undergraduate college students, and clergy are also welcome. Basic and advanced materials will be presented, depending on the needs of participants. The course will take place in Durham, North Carolina, at a location about 5 miles from Duke campus. For those with serious financial hardships who are pursuing careers involving research in this area, partial tuition scholarships are available, in addition to FULL scholarships for those residing in developing countries (see below). For more information about these workshops, contact Dr. Koenig at e-mail: Harold.Koenig@duke.edu

CME/CEU Information

If desired, psychologists, physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, and other health professionals will receive a certificate indicating that this activity is equivalent to 32.0 hours of credit, although the participant will have to obtain approval from their local institution or national certifying body for these credits.

Faculty Biosketches (PDF)
Dan G. Blazer, MD, PhD
Benjamin Doolittle, MD, MDiv
Jill Hamilton, RN, PhD
Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD
Harold G. Koenig, MD, MHSc
John P. Oliver, BCC, DMin
Redford Williams, MD

Tentative Schedule and Curriculum (PDF)

Recommended Pre-Workshop Reading List (PDF)

Tuition and Registration (PDF) for both 5-day Research Workshop Aug 14-18 and 1-day Integrating Spirituality into Care Workshop Aug 19

Directions to Location of Workshop (PDF)

Recommended Accommodations (PDF)

Partial Tuition Reduction Scholarship Information (PDF)

FULL Scholarship Information (PDF)

Qualitative Workshop

A qualitative research workshop, separate from the main workshop, will be held by Dr. Jill Hamilton (tenured full professor of nursing at Emory University) following the 5-day workshop on Aug 19-20. This qualitative research workshop includes 2 additional hourly zoom meetings with Dr. Hamilton for additional consultation.

This workshop will take place at the: Location TBD for 2023

Those who wish to participate in this qualitative workshop on spirituality and health research will need to pay an additional fee of $350 at the workshop, but email or call Dr. Hamilton ASAP to let her know if you are planning to attend. Contact information: jbhamil@emory.edu; tel: 919.428.5354.  Click HERE to enroll.

Full Scholarship Program

Thanks to support from the John Templeton Foundation, the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health is offering twenty-seven $3,600 scholarships to attend our 5-day Summer Research Workshop (see above) between 2021 and 2023. These scholarships will cover tuition, international travel, and living expenses. These scholarships are available only to academic faculty and graduate students living in third-world underdeveloped countries in Africa, Central and South America (including Mexico), Eastern Europe and North Asia, and portions of the Middle East, Central and East Asia. The scholarships will be competitive and awarded only to talented well-positioned faculty and graduate students with the potential to conduct research on religion, spirituality, and health, and serve as research leaders in their part of the world. If you want to know more about this program, contact Harold.Koenig@duke.edu or go to Full Scholarship Information (PDF).

Facebook Page (exclusively for workshop participants)


Course Graduates

2022 Class Photo, Biosketches and Photos (August 15-19, 2022)

2020-2021 Class Photo, Biosketches and Photos (August 9-13, 2021)

2019 Class Photo, Biosketches and Photos (August 12-16)

2018 Class Photo, Biosketches and Photos (August 13-17)

2017 Class Photos and Biosketches (August 14-18)

2016 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 15-19)

2015 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 10-14)

2014 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 11-15)

2013 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 12-16)

2012 Class Photo and Biosketches (July 16-20)

2012 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 13-17)

2011 Class Photo and Biosketches (July 18-22)

2011 Class Biosketches (August 15-19)

2010 Class Photo (July 19-23) and Photo (August 16-20)

2010 Class Biosketches (July and August)

2009 Class Biosketches (July 20-24)

2009 Class Biosketches (August 17-21)

2008 Class Biosketches (July 21-25)

2008 Class Photo and Biosketches (August 11-15)

2007 Class Biosketches (July 16-20)

2007 Class Biosketches (August 13-17)

2006 Class Biosketches (July 24-28)

2006 Class Biosketches (August 14-18)

2005 Class Biosketches (July 5-9 and July 19-23)

2004 Class Biosketches (July 6-10) (1st workshop)

2004 Class Biosketches (July 20-24)